Monthly Archives: October 2013

How To Defend Leg Ride Attacks

One of the worst places to be during a wrestling match is to be stuck underneath a good leg rider. The leg ride position allows the top wrestler to use a lot of pressure to wear down their opponents lower back. Being on the bottom for too long can take a lot of energy out of the wrestler. It is very important to get to a good position that will allow the bottom wrestler an opportunity to take the control back in the match. There are a couple of key points to consider.

The first thing that you want to be aware of is that you need to protect your arms, especially the arm that is opposite of the leg that your opponent has in. So for example, if your opponent has their left leg in, you will want to protect your right arm at all costs. That opposite arm is the one that your opponent will most likely be attacking. I like to pull my arm in and keep it tucked tightly against my body. This helps to prevent the top wrestler to be able to get my arm and crank on it or pull it back.

The second thing that I like to do is to sit to the hip on the same side that he has his leg in. This helps you to get off of your base and it puts him on his butt. If I end up on my stomach and he is free to crank over my hips with his leg, that is really going to wear out my lower back and provide him with a chance to turn me. Also if he gets on opportunity to crank on me from the top position, it will make me more tired as I do get up to my feet. I want to spend as little time as possible underneath my opponent.

The key to being successful on the bottom position is to always be moving and improving your position. You only need to make small improvements, but the key is to keep advancing. You have to be patient, and you have to be smart. If you rush something or panic, you are more likely to provide your opponent with opportunities to score.

I hope that this video will help you to find your way to get out of a leg ride, just in case you find yourself in that position.

Stuff The Head And Score From A Single Leg

This video shows another one of Erkin’s favorite ways to defend the single leg attack. He does a great job of stuffing the head and pinching the head with his legs. Surprisingly, there are a lot of wrestlers who don’t take full advantage of the ability to use the legs in wrestling. If you are able to use your legs to your advantage, more and more scoring opportunities will continue to open up. You should also know that Erkin has his opponents waist wrapped tightly with his arm. As he drives his opponent over his hips and shoulder, he releases his arm from the waist so that he can post with it as he hits the mat with his opponent. If you don’t release your arm from the waist, it is easy to get caught up back in a scramble position that will give your opponent an opportunity to score.

This technique just like any other requires lots and lots of repetitions to master it. If you see a technique that you like, take time every day to drill it over and over so that you can get the move down and use it in competition. It is a process of working on a little bit here and there to become very effective with it. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it the first time out, most people don’t. Be patient with yourself and keep getting the reps in. You will be glad that you did.

Defend From A Single Leg Attack

There are many ways to defend from a single leg attack. Today’s technique focuses on countering your opponent from the standing single leg position and ending up scoring points from that position. Pay close attention to Erkin’s hand placement as he secures this move. He does a good job of basically grabbing a two on one while his opponent is controlling his leg. This is a great defensive technique, especially if you need to score multiple points at the end of a match that you might be losing.

We are very fortunate to have Erkin as a coach. He grew up in his native Uzbekistan and trained under some of the top talent and training programs from the former Soviet Union, a country that was known for their dominance in the sport of wrestling. Even today the countries that used to make up the Soviet Union are still very successful in the sport of wrestling at the Olympic and World Championship level.

Feel free to stop by during a practice to learn more great technique and prepare to be a wrestling champion.

How To Score From A Front Head Lock

The front head lock is a very common position in all types of wrestling. You can find yourself in the position from a poor shot by your opponent or you can snap them down and force them into the position. It is definitely worth the effort to learn how to do this technique well and develop the ability to execute the move in competition.

The first step to having a good front head lock is to get your opponent to tense up a little bit. This tension in your opponent will allow you to move him easier than if he is relaxed. One of the best ways to create this tension is to push into your opponent and use your hips to create pressure on him. The second step is to pull him down to the mat. You need to work hard to get his elbow on the mat because that allows you to get past one of his lines of defense. Keep your weight on his elbow as you circle around. The third step is to get a solid hold of your opponent’s leg. I like to grab the hamstring. The reason we want to get to a leg is to keep his hips from moving around. As you try to go around your opponent, he will try to square up with you and face you. He knows that if he gives you the angle that it will be hard for him to get it back. After you have the leg secure, keep circling around behind your opponent until you can scoop their ankle with your foot. This will help to secure the take down as well as prevent your opponent from moving much in the bottom position. It also opens up a new series of techniques that you can apply from the top position.

Hopefully as you continue to work on this technique, you will be able to see how effective this move is for scoring on opponents even at a very high level of wrestling. Good luck and please keep checking back for more great wrestling tips and techniques.

How To Develop Neck Strength For Wrestling and Combat Sports

Our last post was about how to build mental toughness. Today we will be learning about some of the exercises that you can do to build up a strong neck.

If you look around any wrestling tournament, you will notice that there are a lot of wrestlers with strong necks. It is one of the important aspects of the sport. By having a strong neck, you will be able to handle a match when your opponent is constantly trying to pull on your head and wear you down. However, most people aren’t born with extremely strong necks, and it is important to do the exercises that will help you to develop a good strong neck.

Some of the best exercises to develop a strong neck are: front bridges, back bridges, bridge flips, and bridge circles. Watch the video to see how these exercises are performed.

How To Develop Mental Toughness

How can you develop mental toughness? That is a great question, and depending who you ask, there are many different answers. However, what it really comes down to is striving to do more than you think you can do, and not giving up in the process. As wrestlers we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to develop mental toughness each and every day that we step onto the mat. If you aren’t mentally tough, you are going to have a rough go in your matches as well as life. But don’t worry, fortunately mental toughness is a learned skill, just about like anything else.

Let me share with you a couple of stories about me that helped me to develop mental toughness. The thing about mental toughness is that developing it is often times a challenge and is painful, but the lesson is generally worth the pain. While I was attending college at the University of Nebraska, we wrestled a 30 min live go one day. My partner was Matt Lindland, a world and Olympic silver medalist, the match was very one sided in his favor. He took me down in probably under a minute, then he rode me until the 15 minute mark. I tried to stand up, I couldn’t get away. I tried to roll, I couldn’t get away. I tried to switch, I couldn’t get away. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get away from him. I was frustrated and starting to get more and more tired every minute that passed with him on top of me. At the 15 minute mark, he cut me loose, and we were back wrestling on our feet once again. I was so glad to be back in a neutral position, and I felt like I would have a much better chance now that we were back standing. Unfortunately for me, I was dead wrong. He took me down again in under a minute and continued to ride me for the duration of the 30 min period.

The worst part about it wasn’t even that he rode me out, but rather the way that he did it. He was torturing me. He drove me to the edge of the mat in the corner and literally stuffed me in the corner. I was stuck in the corner furious that he had stuffed me in the corner, but I couldn’t get out. It was definitely a humbling experience that I will never forget. Despite my discomfort, something very positive came from that experience. I made up my mind right then and there, that I would never get ridden like that ever again. I worked harder and longer in that position to be able to get away from the best guys in the country, and the hard work paid off. I became very good and the bottom, and nobody ever rode me like that again.

Another time when I feel like I developed mental toughness was when I went on a run with a folding chair over my head. It was a running practice, and before we hit the track our coach told us to grab a metal folding chair. I didn’t have a clue as to why we would need chairs to go on a run, but I soon found out. We ran laps around the track, and all the while we were running we were supposed to keep pressing the chair up and down above our heads. A couple laps in and my shoulders were burning up. The chair didn’t weigh that much, but it sure felt heavy. By the end of the run, my shoulders were exhausted and I barely had the strength the keep it moving. I started to just let the chair bounce off of my head as I finished my last lap. It helped a little with the burning in the shoulders, but it didn’t do much to make my head feel good.

After the run, I put my chair away and was happy that I was able to finish with the chair above my head. I had finished doing something that was difficult, and I didn’t give up in the process. So the next time that you are looking to develop more mental toughness realize a few key things.
1) Do more than you think that you can do
2) Don’t give up
3) Try not to get too discouraged when you hit a rough patch or things get hard. Keep going and they will get better.

Thanks for reading our blog, and please come in for a practice. You can see our practice times here. Keep training hard and remember “Don’t think, just throw.” – Coach Ruiz

How To Develop A Sweeping Shot For Wrestling

There are so many different types of shots in wrestling that it is easy to ask yourself “which one is the best?” My answer to that would be, “whatever works for you and your wrestling stlye.” In a previous post, we covered a type of shot where you drive through your opponent and change direction. That type of shot is best for double leg attacks and high crotch attacks. The type of shot that we are covering today is good for single leg attacks. Even if you have a good double or high crotch, you are still going to want to develop a decent single leg attack.

By having the ability to attack both sides of the body, you allow yourself a better chance of scoring even when your opponent is able to shut down your offense to one side of your body. If my opponent is protecting his left leg from my left side high crotch, then it is very likely that his right leg will be leading. If I can shoot a single leg to that right side, then I will have a better chance of being able to score on my opponent, even though he isn’t giving me my preferred attack. It is this game of strategy and cat and mouse that makes wrestling fun. You execute a technique, and your opponent executes a counter. Then you have to come up with a way to beat the counter and score points. Back and forth, back and forth you learn how to create opportunities.

Creating opportunities in wrestling is much like creating opportunities in life in general. Maybe you learn how do something really well, but then a change in your industry or life circumstances makes you find a new way to survive, excel, and thrive. If you learn how to counter the counters, you will be more successful. If you aren’t able to counter the counters, you might have a rough spot until you learn to adapt.

Learn how to counter the counters and develop the techniques and skills that you need to be successful. Come train with us at Fortius Wrestling, and see the difference that you can make in your wrestling.

How To Develop A Level Change And Penetration Step

Developing good leg attacks is essential to become a well rounded wrestler. By learning how to correctly change levels and have a good penetration step, you will be on your way to mastering take downs. This drill is one that can be practiced with or without a partner, which is one of the reasons why it is so useful. It takes a great deal of balance, coordination, and explosiveness to be able to change levels and attack. It is worth your time to use this drill to help develop those attributes.

A couple of key points to remember for this drill is to 1) keep your head up and looking forward 2) bend at the knees so that you can actually change your level 3) as you hit your shot, make sure that your trail leg quickly comes up to the side to help maintain balance as well as provide another post to drive off of. It is great to be able to get in deep on a shot, but you also need to be able to finish the shot. If you get stuck down on your knees, the task of finishing your take downs becomes much more difficult. That is why it is important to have your feet ready to drive as you get to your opponent’s legs.

Take the time to work this drill into your daily wrestling routine, and watch as your take downs improve.

Mastering Stance and Motion

Anytime that you want to be the best in something, whether it is the best on the team, best in the state, best in the country, best in the world, you need to have a good solid foundation and understanding of the fundamentals. The importance of mastering the basics cannot be emphasized enough. With wrestling the base of a successful wrestler is his stance. If you have a good stance and can move well, you will be on your way to mastering more advanced techniques further down the road. Let me share with you a story about how practicing the basic fundamentals of stance helped me.

My sophomore year started off well. I was winning all of my matches and getting better every day. However, I wrestled against this one particular opponent that had a very good low level shot. He beat me in a dual meet at his high school. It was my first and only loss of the year. I was very upset about losing, but I was also very serious about getting better and not letting the same thing happen to me later in the year. I went to work on my stance. My coach worked with me to correct the problem that was leaving me vulnerable to my opponent’s low level attack. I was confident that in the future I would be able to win the next time that I matched up with the same wrestler.

Fast forward a couple of months to the semi finals of the state championships. I was going to wrestle the same opponent who had taken me down four times straight in our earlier meeting. However, this time, I was prepared for his low level attack. I made the corrections that I needed to in order to fix my stance, and he wasn’t able to score a single take down. I dominated the match and went on to win my first state championship. It was a great feeling, and it helped me to realize even more the importance of a good solid stance.

Take the time to implement stance and motion training in all of your wrestling practices. You can use it to warm up or cool down after a tough workout. I used to spend a lot of time on my own moving in my stance and working on the motions that would help me to develop the muscle memory and quickness that I would need to excel. Watch this video to learn how you can work on improving your stance.

Don’t think, just throw. – Coach Ruiz